- Museum number
Intaglio; oval, transparent white chalcedony; bust of a man to left, with thick hair, moustache and whiskers, St Peter?; he wears a tunic and pallium; inscription around the head.
- Production date
Diameter: 24 millimetres (greatest)
- Curator's comments
- Text from Dalton 1915, Catalogue of Engraved Gems:
Mounted in a ring.
Text from Ward, Cherry et al ,'The Ring from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century', London 198,. no. 99.
From the first century onwards, the gradual infiltration of Christianity was increasingly reflected in the arts. Although its adherants were still being persecuted as potential subversives in 304, less than ten years later they were receiving direct imperial support and protection, and by 325 the emperor was officially recognized as head of the Church. A rapid increase in the use of Christian motifs naturally followed this change, and the heads of the Olympian gods, which had ornamented gems for so many centuries, were superseded by those of saints. St. Peter, thickly bearded and moustached, is shown here wearing a typical Roman tunic and pallium.
- Not on display
- Ring missing (November 2015).
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: BL.733 (Blacas no.)
Other BM number: 1867,0507.733 (G&R reg.no)